nycrimes.com, July 2012
Now in its fourth episode at the time of writing, The New York Crimes
focuses on two brothers, Albert Wren (Rob Daurio) and his brother Wallace (Mack Gelber), both of them twentysomethings
who have recently graduated from Ivy League colleges, with very little aim in life other than to exist. Wallace is tired of
living in New York and wants to move back to Westchester; Albert believes he is capable of looking after himself, but actually
cannot live without his brother. They are both victims of a tragic mishap: a year ago their parents had been killed in a tragic
accident, victims of a drunk driver who escaped with a broken limb and a light sentence.
Into their lives steps Norman (Lew Gardner), an ageing writer who hires them to work
for his underground detective agency comprised mostly of aimless twentysomethings just like the two brothers. The two of them
undergo training programmes in acting, so as to seem inconspicuous in a variety of seedy New York surroundings; and subsequently
embark on a series of adventures encountering various types of lowlife characters. The main interest in the drama arises from
clashes of class and outlook; the two brothers would like to be identified as lowlife detectives, in the Philip Marlowe and/or
Sam Spade mould, but their privileged education keeps getting in the way.
Liberally laced with sound effects conjuring up a world of sleazy bars, darkened
streets, smoke-filled rooms - even though most of them are non-smoking - The New York Crimes recalls the city of
the late 1940s and early 1950s, a world most aptly summed up in Jules Dassin's groundbreaking film The Naked City
(1948). Although setting her action in the contemporary era, writer Felcetti illustrates the continuities between past and
present: smoky bars such as The Big Sleep still exist, recalling the city in the pre-Guiliani and/or Bloomberg eras,
when it was positively dangerous to enter particular areas at night.
Tautly written and expertly performed by a cast of over twenty actors, The New
York Crimes is well worth listening to - preferably by listening to all four episodes straight after another,
if time permits.